NOTES from a few of my READINGS in MAY

TRUMP’S fathomless lack of interest in America’s path to the present and his limitless gullibility leave him susceptible to being blown about by gusts of factoids that cling like lint to a disorderly mind.  (GEORGE WILL, TRUMP HAS A DANGEROUS DISABILITY)

TRUMP’S Idea of putting coal miners back to work is no more possible from a business standpoint than putting telegraph operators back to work taking Morse code or putting Eastman Kodak employees back to work manufacturing film rolls.  (

America First, or the first Americans. Does Trump even know who they were? Scientists now believe that humans Lived in North America 130,00mast0 Years Ago. The smashed mastodon bones found in California in 1992 have made them rethink how and when humans first came to the Americas. In any case the first Americans were not the English, nor the Africans, nor the Mexicans, not even the Sioux of the Dakota territories.

Don Swanson a paleontologist with the San Diego Natural History Museum, points at a rock fragment near a large horizontal mastodon tusk fragment.
San Diego Natural History Museum /Nature

Tomorrow the French will vote for their president, the contest now between Marine LePen and Emmanuel Macron. We read in Le Monde that Marine Le Pen a joué la carte Trump à la tribune. Will France have its own Donald Trump? 

« J’incarne l’irruption du peuple dans l’entre-soi suranné des élites », a-t-elle lancé au millier de ses sympathisants réunis entre les stands.
Les remarques sur son agressivité lors du débat, sa propension au mensonge ou aux insinuations, ses lacunes sur le fond des dossiers, ne viseraient selon elle qu’à stigmatiser le « peuple », qu’elle prétend représenter. « J’ai été à la table de ce débat la voix du peuple, l’expression de la colère de cette majorité silencieuse qui n’en peut plus de l’abandon à laquelle on la confine », a-t-elle estimé, se faisant l’émissaire, sur le plateau de télévision, de différents personnages : « la veuve du paysan qui s’est suicidé », « le chef d’entreprise qui n’arrive plus à payer ses factures », « le chômeur qui voit passer les travailleurs détachés dans les bus de M. Macron », etc. Ma voix n’a été que l’écho de la violence sociale qui va exploser dans ce pays », a-t-elle lancé.
macron 2

 Macron a gagné!




trump'sThen from The New Republic’s Jeet Heer we have, Trump’s Crude, Ignorant Theory of American History. His bizarre and mistaken beliefs about the past are a window into his mind—and serve his political agenda.  Heer: “Donald Trump has made some puzzling remarks lately about American history, but they can be explained by two harsh truths about the president: He’s learning much that is new to him, and has a narcissistic habit of imputing his own ignorance on everyone else.”

This last selection from my readings of the first week in May was actually from a book I’m reading, Hanna Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem, A Report on the Banality of Evil.

Her conclusion was that Eichmann was not an evil man, but much more an ignorant nobody. What I’m reading about Trump and Le Pen is similarly telling me at least that these two are not evil, but ignorant. It does seem that the Western world is more and more being led or about to be led by ignorant people. As Arendt says what appears to be evil is really “a failure to think.” That seems to be the failures of both Trump and Le Pen.

Hanna Arendt:   “Good can be radical; evil can never be radical, it can only be extreme, for it possesses neither depth nor any demonic dimension yet and this is its horror!-it can spread like a fungus over the surface of the earth and lay waste the entire world. Evil comes from a failure to think. It defies thought for as soon as thought tries to engage itself with evil and examine the premises and principles from which it originates, it is frustrated because it finds nothing there. That is the banality of evil.”

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